Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Award-Winning Audiobooks

We love audiobooks. Not only are they entertaining, they allow children whose decoding skills are less developed than their language skills to access important literary concepts, vocabulary, and background knowledge. Students who read along with audiobooks reap even greater rewards because seeing words while hearing them builds fluency. And of course audiobooks are perfect for summer, when a good story can make hours in the car fly by.

The selection of titles available in audio format is growing, making it difficult to choose good ones. For those unwilling to be stuck with a subpar recording of an otherwise great book, the Audie Awards are a lifesaver. The Audies are sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association and presented to recordings that demonstrate excellent narrative voice and style, vocal characterization, appropriateness of audio format, and enhancement of text. As well as the award for audiobook of the year, outstanding books are considered for awards in a wide variety of categories, like biography/memoir, classics, humor, business, and mystery. There are also categories for books read by the author and for multi-voiced performances. Young people should check out the finalists and award winners in the Teens, Children Under 8, and Children Ages 8-12 categories. The website of audiobook magazine AudioFile presents list of finalists and winners in each category, and would-be listeners can access full reviews and even hear a short sample of texts that seem appealing.

In addition to the awards lists, AudioFile is host to a wealth of audiobook reviews. So before committing to that book intended to entertain your family in the car for the next 30 hours, consult this list to be certain you’ve picked a winner. 

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